The story doesn’t end at the cross, praise God! See now what happened on the third day after Yeshua’s crucifixion:
Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. (Matthew 28:1-6)
The faith becomes real
So far in this course, much can be considered theory, or nice rules to live by and common sense. At this point, however, the faith becomes real and tangible. The disciples of Yeshua came with the mind-blowing news that He had risen from the dead.
Without the resurrection, the disciples would have had nothing more to say and Yeshua would soon have been forgotten. Now, the teaching of Yeshua was empowered and confirmed by God Himself. This became the start of the great movement of believers that would reach out to the ends of the earth.
A Living Hope
There is both a negative and a positive force that draws us to God. The negative force is our guilt from our sinful nature – we painfully realize that we cannot continue like this. This has been explained in the previous lessons. The positive force is the overflowing life that awaits us in God’s new creation. This bright future is simply called “the hope” in the Bible, or “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27
Through the resurrection of Yeshua we receive a glimpse of what this coming glory will look like. Yeshua’s resurrected body was imperishable, eternal, completely free from all the effects of sin and death – it was glorified (1 Peter 1:20-23
One day, God will restore all of creation to a glorified state, and all who put their hope in God and His Messiah will be resurrected, as He was resurrected, to live in it (1 John 3:2-3
There is a special holiday on the third day of Passover that explains this. Before anything could be harvested in Israel, the farmer had to bring the “first fruits” to the Temple in Jerusalem (Leviticus 23:10
). It was a small, symbolical offering from the barley while it was still green, and its purpose was to show faith in God and thankfulness for the harvest before it was ready – all our provisions come from God.
Since this was also the day when Yeshua was resurrected, the connection is clear: The power and glory that God displayed on Yeshua’s resurrection 2000 years ago, is a token of what will happen to all of us who have faith in Him in the future resurrection – the great harvest (Colossians 1:18
, 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
Death could not keep Him
Let’s now look at what Yeshua says about this Himself. He makes a few very clear and powerful statements about His resurrection:
- “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25).
- “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” (John 5:26)
- “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” (Luke 9:22)
- “The ruler of the world [Satan] is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30)
Since Yeshua had committed no sin, Satan and death had no power over him and could not keep him in the grave.
Yeshua knew perfectly well how He had to suffer and how God would raise Him from the dead, but where is this found in the prophets? The most obvious place is in Hosea:
Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him. (Hosea 6:1-2)
This also speaks of the restoration of the nation of Israel after 2000 years, since a day is like a thousand years for the LORD (Psalm 90:4
). Israel was exiled soon after the death of Yeshua and is now being restored as a nation again.
An inner confirmation
Even if our resurrection is still in the future, we get an inner confirmation today, through the Spirit: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:11
)… but more about that in the next lesson.
- The resurrection is the validation of the teaching of Yeshua
- It empowers the faith of all believers
- It gives us an everlasting hope
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23